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“Exocets, Air Traffic, & the Air
(See L. Di Rita, pp. 5S-63, August 1992
Captain T. F. Marfiak, U.S. Navy—Lieutenant Commander Di Rita brought to the surface many of the concerns of all warfare commanders who operated in the Arabian Gulf during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Unfortunately, his article and the accompanying artwork create the impression that there was a great deal more confusion than was indeed the case.
My ship, the USS Bunker Hill (CG- 52), relieved the USS Antietam (CG-54) as Golf Whiskey (battle force antiair-warfare commander [AAWC] in the Gulf) in November 1990 and, in January 1991, just prior to Desert Storm, the Bunker Hill was designated Zulu Whiskey (AAWC for the Arabian Gulf). From my experience, the Iraqi air threat should not be dismissed lightly. Iraqi aircraft operated aggressively throughout Desert Shield, and diminished only slightly as a potential threat as Desert Storm progressed.
There were several Aegis cruisers and up to four new-threat-upgrade (NTU) cruisers involved throughout the conflict. All their capabilities were needed—and exploited—to the fullest. These ships worked extraordinarily well with a variety of coalition partners, electronic-support-measures and airborne-early-warning aircraft, and maintained a link picture of unrivaled density under adverse conditions. They did so while launching Tomahawk missiles, destroying mines, sinking Iraqi warships, and supporting the ground offensive through the direction of strike aircraft. Perhaps, as his article notes, Lieutenant Commander Di Rita’s perspective was somewhat more limited than other cruisers because of his ship’s location during the Gulf War.
Commander Di Rita may have been unaware of the protocols followed by E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft in reporting link tracks. Interservice linking is something that we all need to study in depth to understand not only our own limitations, but those of our sister services and our allies. Given that we had more than 100 subscribers, high data rates, and immediate command-and-con-
trol response issues, we did very well. Incidentally, we did achieve consistent reporting from AW ACS to the AAWC during much of Desert Shield. Although there were factors that affected that data stream during Desert Storm, it remained a valuable source of data throughout the conflict.
While it is true that the air-tasking order (ATO) provided an extraordinary amount of data, it was not "user friendly.” Because of the dedication and skill of Navy LAMPS-III pilots, the ATO was delivered to the right people in time to control the stream of aircraft that continuously operated in the Gulf region. The Navy and Air Force have since learned a great deal about the process and have made progress in providing that data via other means.
Contrary to the impression the author transmits, we were not “flailing.” Our efforts were calm, professional, and purposeful. From the early messages to the reinforcements coming over the horizon to the last days as we fought alongside the carriers hastening the end of the war, we knew what we were doing and how to do it. □
(See B. Norton, p. 28, August 1992
Hamlin A. Caldwell, Jr.—The unfortunate Tailhook incidents have badly damaged the reputation of the Navy, but the forthright manner in which Admiral Frank B. Kelso is dealing with them offers hope for a service that has fallen away from the principles of integrity and accountability, which made it both great and exceptional in American society.
Time after time in the last decade, the U.S. Navy—as an institution—has not held itself accountable to the uncompromising standards that it has traditionally and properly demanded of its people; therefore, it has lost its previously unquestioned credibility and soiled its heretofore unspotted reputation. The reaction by the highest level of Navy leadership to the turret explosion on board the USS Iowa (BB-61) and the destruction of an Iranian airliner by the USS Vincennes (CG-49)—as well as dozens
Exocets, Air Traffic, & the Air Tasking Order—13
Press Release from Hell—14
Reserve C-9s Support the Gulf War—17
Bull? Or the Real Thing?—/ 7
Seawolf: The Reasons Why—17
Save the Tailhook Association—19
Betrayal at Pearl Harbor—26
Submarine Maneuver Control—26
Let’s Avoid Another Stark—27
How About an Aegis Tour?—28
The Navy Should Take Back the Arizona Memorial—28
ENTER THE FORUM
We welcome brief comments on material published in Proceedings and also brief discussion items on topics of naval, maritime, or military interest for possible publication on these pages. A primary purpose o/Proceedings is to provide a forum where ideas of importance to the sea services can be exchanged. The Naval Institute pays an honorarium to the author of each comment or discussion item published in Proceedings. Please include your return address, your social security number, and a daytime phone number.
of lesser disasters—was to shade the facts or slant the truth. High-ranking spin doctors (the lowest specie of the sea-lawyer genus) have made or sanctioned false or misleading statements—thereby compromising the personal integrity of every man and woman who has ever worn the Navy uniform.
Naval officers have always been held strictly accountable for their performance. Accountability is always hard, usually personally painful and—judged by relatively lax civilian standards—sometimes unfair. In spite of this, rigid personal accountability is something that makes the naval profession exceptional; officers have a bedrock pride in the knowledge that they and their peers are held to a higher standard.
I hope that the nadir of the Navy’s institutional accountability was the miserable handling of the Iowa explosion. In violation of the most basic obligation of naval leadership, a dead gunner’s mate was abandoned by his superior officers from his division officer, to his captain, all the way up to his Chief of Naval Operations. It was in a complete and dismal failure of will, responsibility, and integrity. That sorry performance was nothing more than a cynical attempt to preserve the Navy’s carefully burnished public-relations image, to keep getting from the Congress the funding that nourishes organizational empires. Sadly, public relations has become an obsession with the Navy. A telling example of this sort of thinking is how Proceedings—our magazine—dedicated almost an entire issue to a whining examination of why the Navy failed to garner as much favorable publicity from the Persian Gulf War as the Air Force. This discussion would have been far more appropriate in People.
Some recommendations for the solidly honest and honorable Chief of Naval Operations—and President of the Naval Institute—Admiral Frank B. Kelso;
>• The Navy must held to the same standards of accountability and integrity as an institution that it expects from every officer.
>■ The most important criterion for public statements should be truth. Instead of moaning about hostile reporters, the Navy should realize that its credibility is based on always telling the truth. Get rid of the career “official spokesmen” or restrict them to managing the Fleet Home Town News Service. All line officers are perfectly capable of telling the truth and refusing to release classified information. ► More admirals should be fired and more should resign on issues of principle. The Navy has plenty of admirals— soon there may be more of them than there are commissioned ships. With all respect to admirals’ dedication, experience, expertise, and talent, the Navy probably has more trouble coming up with enough mess cooks than it does finding officers to promote to admiral. Plenty of the captains who not selected for flag rank would make excellent admirals. In short, admirals are a valuable but wonderfully expendable naval commodity.
If handled reasonably, firing a few admirals whenever there is a palpable naval screwup would not hurt the Navy very much and actually might help. It wouldn’t be as disruptive as some people might claim. After all, unlike Stalin, we would not shoot these people. They’d just be sent home a little early—with a nice pension and an honored title. □
“Press Release from Hell”
(See P. Pritulsky, pp. 51-55, July 1992
Commander Robert M. Chamberlain, U.S. Naval Reserve—Commander Pritulsky was right on the mark about the state of airborne early warning (AEW) in the Navy. He also was entirely correct in suggesting that, unless something is done now to sustain an organic AEW capability for carrier air wings, AEW will become exclusively an Air Force mission.
The painful lessons learned—and losses suffered—by the Royal Navy in 1982, when it went to the Falklands without a seagoing AEW capability and beyond the range of land-based AEW support, should not be lost upon us. A glance at a globe should prove to anyone with any understanding of aircraft operations that continuous, long-range, land-based, AEW support all over the world is, quite frankly, impossible. A carrier-based AEW aircraft is the only surveillance platform that can support a battle group in distant locations whenever rapid reaction and sustained AEW and surveillance coverage are required.
Navy acceptance of Air Force AEW support for its carrier battle groups certainly would produce strong suggestions that the aircraft carrier is no longer required. Advocates of the B-2 bomber are already saying that it can conduct sustained, long-range conventional strikes virtually anywhere in the world. If the Air Force developed a team of B-2s, Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, and aerial tankers for long-range strike missions, how could the Navy make the case for keeping aircraft carriers?
Therefore, to maintain the carrier battle group’s viability as a vital U.S. military asset in future conflicts—where flexibility, quick response, and endurance on station are required—an organic AEW capability is essential.
There are three possible approaches to sustaining AEW support for the battle groups. The first is to spend more money on the existing E-2C fleet and try to keep it alive. This approach does not solve the problem; it merely postpones it for a few years—at a significant cost to the taxpayer. The second approach is to do nothing; tantamount to giving the AEW mission to the Air Force.
The third approach is to start immediately an aggressive program to develop an AEW system to replace the E- 2C. The main obstacle to this solution is the Navy’s intense internal debate over future attack and fighter aircraft: AX vs. F/A-18E/F vs. F-14 Quickstrike vs. ATF. All this haggling has pulled attention away from the desperate situation carrier air wings find themselves in with'regard to support aircraft. The carrier-aviation community must take a total-force outlook and admit that AEW aircraft, tankers, and even carrier on-board delivery aircraft are as critical to overall mission success as strike and fighter aircraft.
Many will respond to this by saying that support-aircraft programs will have to wait until the problems with attack and fighter programs are resolved. We cannot afford to wait. The Air Force has started a radar-development program for an eventual AWACS replacement. Given that AEW system performance requirements for the Navy and the Air Force will be similar in the future, this sets up a perfect opportunity to begin a joint Navy- Air Force system development program for the next generation of AEW aircraft. The goal of a Navy-Air Force AEW program should be the development of a system that can be integrated in a carrier- based aircraft—such as the S-3 Viking— and a land-based aircraft such as the C- 17 or the KC-10. A joint development program would reduce significantly the research and development costs of an AEW system for both services, as well. As an initial contribution to a joint AEW- development program, the Navy could use the money earmarked for the upgrading of the E-2C.
A program like this would let the Navy address its carrier-based AEW needs well into the 21st century, and ease joint-service-interoperability problems. Before the Navy can commit to this, or any other course of action, however, it must admit, as a service, that it indeed has a problem in this crucial area. □
“Reserve C-9s Support the Gulf
(See M. W. Danielson, pp. 89-90, January 1992
Senior Chief Aviation Machinist’s Mate William N. Cavanaugh, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve; Command Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Group, Southeast United States-Aviation—As a reservist who held a set of mobilization orders for the Coast Guard’s Logistics Support-Squadron 201 during the Gulf War, I can’t understand why the Naval Air Logistics Office (NALO) could not find sufficient assets to meet its airlift requirements during the Gulf War. The heavy-airlift capability the Navy needed was right under its nose.
In the mid-1980s, the Coast Guard was directed to provide two deployable HC- 130 squadrons—a total of six HC-130 Hercules from the Coast Guard’s fleet of 31 HC-130s—with aircrew and support personnel to the Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet for logistics support in time of war. To meet this requirement, on 1 October 1987, the Coast Guard established the 201st and 202nd Logistics Support Squadrons at Coast Guard Air Station (CGAS) Clearwater, Florida and Elizabeth City, North Carolina respectively. The squadrons’ personnel are a mix of active-duty officers and enlisted personnel from designated operational air stations and reservists from aviation reserve units at CGAS Clearwater, CGAS Elizabeth City, and CGAS Sacramento, California.
I am puzzled why these units—which would have been ideal for the heavy airlift for engine transport, ordnance, and helicopter support—were not used when it became apparent that the Navy's C-9s could not provide the needed tactical heavy-lift support. Either NALO did not read the war plans or it forgot about the Coast Guard.
Considerable money, time, and effort was expended to implement and sustain the training requirements for these units. Some of the funding for the reserve participation came from the Department of Defense, based on the idea that these units would be ready to assist the Navy with its airlift requirements during a conflict just like the Gulf War.
The Navy’s failure to use this resource has convinced the Coast Guard that it could handle any wartime deployment with the squadrons’ active-duty personnel and, therefore, reservists are no longer part of the squadrons’ composition. Unfortunately, based on the C-9s’ accumulated flight times and overall mission requirements, this plan will not hack it if it is ever put to the test. Without the reservists, the Coast Guard squadrons would be unable to fly anything close to the 700 flight hours averaged by each C- 9 aircraft per month. Nor would the flight crews and maintenance personnel be able to sustain the monthly pace of more than 2,800 flight hours with active- duty manning only.
While examining the shortcomings of its airlift support during the Persian Gulf War, the Navy should review the plans it wrote before the war. They will discover that a valuable group of aircraft and people went unnoticed. The next time the commander of the Fleet Logistics Support Wing needs some help, he may find himself wishing he had used the Coast Guard during the last war. Because, unless things change, the next war will find us with the lights on, but nobody home. □
“Bull? Or the Real Thing?”
(See J. H. Mitchell, pp. 40-46, April 1992 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Jim Shannon, U.S. Navy—Mr. Mitchell’s argument that “only a complete liberal arts education can deliver” the aspiring military officer his total educational package is farfetched.
Military leaders must be technically proficient in the art of war. Analysis of any problem, developed by study in the hard sciences, is the basic fundamental skill required for instinctive decision making in modern warfare. Who really cares if a jet pilot has read Dante’s Inferno, if an engineer of the watch can recite Shakespeare, or if an officer of the deck understands haiku?
Naval officers are not just leaders. They are operators, managers, and complicated individuals just like their subordinates. At a minimum, officers in the Navy must understand how to operate systems, the principles that make those systems work, and the skills required to repair and maintain them.
The U.S. Naval Academy meets those basic requirements and many more. Core courses in history, English, and leadership and the daily interaction in Bancroft Hall and on playing fields further develop the midshipmen.
College will not transform a young individual into a wise, mature adult. Neither will it make a professional naval officer. The required seasoning comes with time in grade.
Mr. Mitchell’s arguments would have been better served had he touted the virtues of recreational reading, vice the importance of a liberal-arts education. Through recreational reading, which includes classical and contemporary works of fiction and non-fiction, naval officers can develop their understanding of humanity. It does not take a complete liberal-arts education. Perhaps the Naval Academy could develop a required- reading list for its midshipmen. O
“Seawolf: The Reasons Why”
(See J. I. Lieberman, pp. 55-58, June 1992; J.
S. Dallas, T. T. Balfour and J. A. Garrow, p.
26, August 1992 Proceedings)
Charles McDaniel—One question still nags me about the USS Seawolf (SSN- 21) project. Economics, politics, and the half-life of tritium gas being what they are, the former Bolshevik boomers will be out of business in 10 to 12 years— ours, too, for that matter. About the same time, we might get a Seawolf—if there are no longer-than-usual delays. So, who will have the ships for the Seawolf to sink? □
Eric Wertheim—The USS Seawolf (SSN- 21) is just not affordable in the present day and age. The Los Angeles (SSN-688)- class attack submarines are still highly effective boats entirely capable of major upgrades, particularly in the area of electronics. By upgrading the Los Angeles class, the Navy could save money and stabilize the number of submarines in its inventory. Building an “Improved-Improved Los Angeles” class would also keep U.S. submarine manufacturers— and their many subcontractors across the country—in business.
In a recent conversation with a submarine officer, I brought up the issue of Seawolf. I asked him if he would have the Navy buy it. His surprising response was that, as a submariner, he would love to take her out and see what she could do; but—as a taxpayer—he did not know if Seawolf was worth the price. He also said that his own boat—one of the Los Angeles class—was an excellent submarine with plenty of room for improvements and upgrades, and one that he would take to war with full and complete confidence.
By forgoing the not-yet built Seawolfo and improving its Los Angeles-class boats, the Navy could maintain an excellent submarine force well into the next century. The Navy must get its money’s worth in this time of tight budgets. Perhaps the only way to do this is to improve our proven systems and to let go of the “silver bullets.” □
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“Save the Tailhook Association”
(See J. Towers, p. 26, January 1992; S. Hunt, p. 27-28, March 1992; B. Tillman, pp. 19-20,
April 1992; R. J. Kelly, p. 17, June 1992; C. A. Skelton, R. L. Lawson, pp. 20-23, July 1992;
D. J. Smith, p. 14, August 1992 Proceedings)
Anthony J. Principi, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs— Lieutenant Commander Smith’s comment demonstrates why the Navy is taking so much water as we sail through the wake of Tailhook 1991. He acknowledges the nature and extent of the problem when he states that “Tailhook stories are infamous, even in the cruiser-destroyer community” and states “Senior officers outside the aviation community also were aware of the happenings at Tailhook.” If everyone knew, why is anyone surprised that the entire Navy is being spattered with muck resulting from those “happenings”?
More disappointing is Commander Smith’s diagnosis of the repudiation of Tailhook by the Congress and Navy leadership as nothing more than “political correctness.” A response, he asserts, that will harm the Navy’s warfighting capability. He suggests as a cure to this “inquisition” “leaders who will stand up for the future of the Navy” (presumably by telling the “powerful women’s lobby” to go back to the kitchen and bake some cookies).
The first lesson in seamanship is to know and understand the environment within which one is sailing. Failure to perceive, understand, and act on changes in the sea can lead to green water over the bow—or worse. The societal seas on which the Navy sails have changed. Behavior that was once accepted—or at least tolerated—is now unacceptable. The men at Tailhook went aground because they did not change course in response to that sea change. The question is now whether the rest of the Navy will follow them blindly into the same shoals, insisting that their compasses are correct and it must be the rocks that are out of place.
A Navy in which events like Tailhook are known to occur, but where no preventive actions are taken, and for which a code of silence obstructs corrective action after the fact is one that taxpayers are not interested in funding, parents are not interested in sending their children to join, and the Congress is no longer interested in tolerating.
Commander Smith’s comment indicates that some of our warriors still “just don’t get it” and are doomed to take green water until they do, or until they founder and take our Navy with them. There may well be members of the “powerful women’s lobby” or the “Congress hungering for a peace dividend” whose agenda are not the same as the Navy’s. To the extent that the naval community ignores—or, even worse, derides—the lesson of Tailhook, the Navy will give those interests the ammunition they need to advance their agenda at the Navy’s expense. It is important also to remember that many of the voices raised in dismay over Tailhook are the voices of the Navy’s friends. Many of these people were appalled at the sight of the Navy unable to take seriously the values of individual dignity upon which our nation is founded.
The argument that Tailhook is an inevitable byproduct of the warrior culture that is needed to fight and win wars rests on the premise that the definition of “warrior” necessarily includes (or at least does not exclude) the concept of sexual thug. If the Navy expects to fight wars in the manner of barbarian raiders descending upon villages in the eleventh century, the distinction may not be important. However, if we expect to fight and win on 21st-century battlefields, the definition of “naval warrior” had best include the words “disciplined” and “professional.” Clearly, the actions of the men
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who created the Tailhook gantlet fail the disciplined, professional warrior test.
The American people—and their representatives in the Congress—will give their Navy—and the community of naval officers—the standing and the resources needed to control the seas only if the Navy earns them. The Navy and its officer corps cannot earn that standing if they cannot see and understand the basic values of the society they defend. If Navy officers are to have the confidence of the country, they must demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities inherent in the special trust and confidence that comes with their commissions.
Tailhook and the Navy’s response to it have put the Navy on trial. When history imposes such a trial it does not care whether all on the dock deserve to be there. History only judges the response. Tailhook happened—the Navy cannot change that. However, the Navy can— and must—respond to the challenge now before it. The response will determine the future of the Navy and, therefore, our nation’s ability to control the seas. □
Barrett Tillman—“Naval aviation is eating its young.”
That assessment by a retired captain sums up the present condition of Navy Air as the “Tailhook Scandal” nears its first anniversary. In fact, private response to my letter in the April 1992 Proceedings has clarified just how far from resolving the crisis we still are.
After more than four months of comments from dozens of active, reserve, and retired aviators, it is obvious that much of the Navy’s senior leadership is unable to distinguish between three related, but distinct, problems: sexual harassment, relations with the Tailhook Association, and the way the service has attempted to handle those subjects. What follows is the distilled opinion ranging from active-duty lieutenants to retired vice admirals.
First, sexual harassment and “Tailgate” are being dealt with, however inequitably and inefficiently. But the Navy’s institutional willingness to sacrifice innocent people on the altar of political expediency has caused the most severe morale crisis since Vietnam—perhaps even since the pre-Korean War doldrums. Therefore, some history may be appropriate, as seen through an unscientific sampling.
A retired fighter pilot recalls, “During Vietnam, the politicians sent us to die against ‘twinkie’ targets for seven years when they knew our losses weren’t worth the results. But nobody—not the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations, not even the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff—would stand up to the politicians.”
That theme—standing up to the politicians—rings again and again. Many aviators recall that in 1985 the careers of three innocent officers at Naval Air Station Miramar were ruined for offenses allegedly committed by their predecessors as much as three years before. Again, not even the Navy Secretary stood up to a self-serving congressman (who, ironically, ended his tenure amid charges of sexual harassment) who pressed the Navy to punish these officers.
Junior officers are particularly bitter over the shotgun approach employed to identify possible abusers at the 1991 Tailhook event. When more than 4,000 Navy and Marine officers’ promotions were held up for review, one fighter pilot described it, as a “guilty until proven innocent” atmosphere. Adds a Marine, “This is one big witch hunt.”
A constant diet of adverse publicity has diverted public attention from the Navy’s other needs—especially a new attack aircraft following Secretary Garrett’s A-12 debacle. When aviators wonder about the future of attack aviation—the reason for owning carriers—they look up the chain of command and ask, “Why doesn't the Chief of Naval Operations try to keep things on track? It’s sure not because he’s sweating out his next selection board.”
There is also frustration and anger and—worst of all—mistrust among the reservists as well. “I don’t want to go on active duty,” says one lieutenant commander. “I’ve commanded people and I know that loyalty is supposed to work downward as well as upward. But in the Navy it hasn’t been that way for a long time.” A Marine reservist adds, “Obviously the military trails society in social trends, and we need to catch up. But this isn’t the way to do it.”
The recent Representative Patricia Schroeder-bashing incident at Miramar is another case in point. Some aviators admit they were shocked at the banner reportedly aimed at Representative Schroeder, but most of them take a larger view. What logic exists when the Supreme Court allows desecration of the flag that naval officers are sworn to defend, when those same men are punished merely for expressing unsavory opinions of an anti-military politician? They admit to genuine confusion about the First Amendment rights of naval personnel.
The right of affiliation also has come under question. Following Secretary Garrett’s belated departure, Undersecretary of the Navy Dan Howard called for disbanding of the Tailhook Association and declared it “inappropriate for any active- duty officer to serve” the group in any capacity. He further declared that drunken aviators “in fact criminally assaulted those women . . This amazing statement not only caused confusion among active-duty Tailhookers—it was illegal, according to every lawyer I’ve queried. Aside from pretrial prejudice by the Navy, it causes us to wonder what’s next: banning membership in the Association of Naval Aviation, the U.S. Naval Institute, or Rotary?
Any one of these concerns would be enough to cause genuine worry. But the fact that all of them exist and continue to worsen goes far beyond the Las Vegas flashpoint. Whether the admirals know it or not, they are losing the confidence of their subordinates. Previously career-oriented young officers are opting out, and I personally know two extremely successful pilots who have resigned in disgust, trusting for better luck in a depressed economy. And, no, neither of them attended Tailhook 1991.
The problem has spilled into the civilian arena. For instance, a naval flight officer relates that some of his Oceana squadronmates have stopped wearing their uniforms home from duty because civilians stop them and ask how many women they have molested. “Sexual harassment is all the public knows about us anymore,” he says, noting that nobody in the Navy has defended thousands of innocent officers from those charges.
But Navy-civilian friction also works in the other direction. Witness the actions of the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, who takes time to write an obnoxious letter to a pro-Tailhook civilian he has never met—me! Even purely civilian environments have been poisoned. One recipient of The Hook’s contributor’s award was told by his employer to remove the plaque from the office.
Retirees are similarly disgusted with the worsening situation, and find it difficult to remain supportive of the service. A former carrier captain, who holds two Navy Crosses, is the most vehement of all when he cites “the treachery and disloyalty of the senior brass” toward guiltless junior officers. A contemporary, a retired major general with five combat tours in three wars, agrees: “It’s a grossly excess reaction that does far more harm than good.”
Other retired flag officers widely believe that the failure of Navy seniors to protect innocent subordinates might partly be attributable to present career paths. Joint service and staff tours may have improved interoperability, but former three- and four-star admirals question whether such duty is worthwhile if it removes seniors from sufficient contact with junior officers. Almost to a man, retired flag aviators perceive a growing black-shoe/ brown-shoe rift in which submariners and surface-warfare officers will emerge with proportionately greater influence in aviation matters. True or not, it is one more indicator of discord in the service.
Clearly, the essential question now is not sexual abuse but confidence in Navy leaders. “Do as I say, not as I do,” has never been an effective technique for parents, let alone for military commanders.
Yet aviators remember the continued presence in Las Vegas—for periods spanning decades—of men now wearing three or four stars. Now, when some of those admirals speak of “core values” and insist upon another standard of behavior, junior officers shrug and mutter, “Rhetoric.” We cannot blame them for concluding that such transformations appear extremely convenient at least—and hypocritical at worst. Consequently, increasing numbers of junior officers rate Navy leadership at “F-minus.”
Yet, junior officers instinctively rec-
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ognize the solution that eludes their leaders. “Put the accused abusers on trial and be done with it,” summarizes a lieutenant with more wisdom than his civilian or uniformed superiors.
Perhaps we are seeing the genuine value of a forum like Proceedings, which can point to problems that admirals may not recognize or choose to ignore. What is clear, however, is that the Navy will perpetuate this severe morale crisis only at immense harm to itself. □
Captain Wynn F. Foster, U.S. Navy (Retired)—It has been said that one of the tragedies of the Watergate scandal of some 20 years ago was that no one in the Nixon administration had the courage or wisdom to step forward to say “But, wait! It’s wrong'." Today, there is a parallel in the much publicized but often inaccurately portrayed Tailhook controversy.
No one questions the need for identification and appropriate action against those individuals guilty of whatever misconduct may have occurred at the 1991 Tailhook convention. Unfortunately, often inaccurate and frequently negative coverage of the Tailhook incident has given the general public the impression that the Tailhook Association is little more than an “Animal House” fraternity and that the entire Navy tactical air (TacAir) community is populated with nothing but sex- and-booze “Top Gun” party boys. Those impressions are false, but have been lost in an ugly morass of half-truths, inaccuracies, unsubstantiated allegations, and innuendoes. Fairness and objectivity have been the major casualties of the Tailhook sexual harassment flap.
But the real tragedy—the Watergate parallel—is that, for the better part of ten months since the Tailhook story broke, there has been a surprising lack of willingness on the part of high-level Navy leadership to step forward to say, “Wait a minute! Whatever happened in Las Vegas was despicable, but it was the doing of a relatively small group of miscreants. There were more than 3,000 people registered for the 1991 Tailhook convention and the vast majority of those were in no way connected with, responsible for, or in most cases even aware of whatever alleged sexual harassment may have occurred.”
Even more disconcerting is the fact that no one stepped forward to say, “Wait a minute! There are thousands of people in the tactical naval aviation business, whether or not they are members of the Tailhook Association, who didn’t even attend the convention in Las Vegas, but who are being unjustly smeared with a
broad brush of innuendo!”
Before retirement, I was a career, TacAir naval aviator and flew from many carriers. Recently I was privileged to attended a formal social activity as the guest of honor of one of the many tailhook squadrons that make up the Navy tactical air community. I was treated royally and respectfully, but was dismayed to learn first-hand that squadron morale, particularly among the junior officers, had deteriorated markedly in the wake of the Tailhook incident. Those young people, many of them veterans of Desert Storm, were dedicated professionals in a dangerous and highly demanding occupation. It was not the sexual-harassment issue that had made an adverse impact on their morale, however. It was their perception of being unfairly branded as irresponsible playboys; their perception that, in the wake of the Tailhook incident, inept investigation, and adverse publicity, they have been abandoned by those in Washington and elsewhere who wear stars on their collars. One young lieutenant was choked with emotion when he told me how he loved the Navy, loved to fly, and loved being a part of naval aviation. But that young officer was leaving the Navy because he was distrustful of the future he might face, given the example of poor high-level leadership demonstrated in the mud-wrestling fallout from the Tailhook incident. It was sobering to see that one instance of the impact of the Tailhook problem on just one unit of the TacAir community.
Time has long passed for a more objective perspective on the Tailhook incident, which has been allowed to grow disproportionately into a major, misunderstood, and near-unmanageable mess. Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean O’Keefe perhaps lit a small candle of perspective recently, the first in the civilian hierarchy of our government to do so. Noting that Navy morale has been “battered” by the adverse publicity, Secretary O’Keefe acknowledged that the Tailhook incident was the handiwork of only a small group of individuals. Too many people, said the Secretary, had been undeservedly tarred by that incident. Let’s hope those comments mark a watershed in objectivity in dealing with the Tailhook matter.
Perhaps it’s also time for the active- duty Navy hierarchy to reexamine its leadership concepts and its failure to leap to the defense of innocent subordinates early on in the Tailhook debacle. Far more disquieting than weathering a political firestorm over sexual harassment is the potential long-term damage to Navy TacAir’s morale, retention, and readiness as a result of such a failure. □
(See D. C. Richardson, pp. 34-39, December 1991; P. R. Schratz, T. Allen, and N. Polmar, pp. 25-27, February 1992; E. L. Beach, p. 23, June 1992 Proceedings)
“Betrayal at Pearl Harbor”
(See R. Pineau, pp. 97-98, December 1991; E.
L. Beach, p. 23, June 1992 Proceedings)
Captain A. J. Pelletier, U.S. Navy (Re- tired)—I can’t believe that Admiral Richardson would put any stock in Betrayal at Pearl Harbor)Summit Books, 1991) by James Rusbridger and Eric Nave which he must have been referring to when he wrote: “It is now known that British cryptologists in Singapore were reading and reporting exchanges between Admiral Yamamoto and his force commanders . . .” The same book states that the British were reading 35% of the Japanese code JN-25 by the end of 1939, but, unless the British had the Japanese code book and additive tables, that would have been impossible. Furthermore, if they had had the code book, they would have been able to read all of the code. Rusbridger and Nave further state that the JN-25 was a one-part code, that is, a code in which the code groups and meanings are both in order. However, an illustration on pages 84 and 85 of the book are photostats of the Japanese code book that show that JN-25 was a two-part code—one in which messages are encoded alphabetically in one book and decoded numerically in a second book. There was no way that to fill in between recoveries, because the decode book had the meanings in random order.
In 1939, I was working in the office at Station Cast at Cavite in the Philippines where I had started in cryptanalysis. We kept track of the Japanese fleet by means of traffic analysis, reading plain language dispatches, and decoding messages in the then-current naval code. On 1 June, the Japanese introduced a new 5digit code—in which the code groups were enciphered by applying a 5-digit additive to them—which we named JN-25; however, it wasn’t used throughout the Japanese Navy until 1 July. At the same time, plain language traffic became very rare. We had not even solved the cipher system while I was still at Cavite. That autumn, when I reported to Washington, work was continuing on JN-25.
It wasn’t until late in the summer of 1940 that the additive cipher was solved and enough messages were gathered to make an attack on the 5-digit code groups profitable. At that time, Lieutenant Commander E. S. L. Goodwin escorted me into a large room filled with a few desks and many long tables covered with folders full of messages, and said: “Get to work.” The messages were filed by datetime and all of the groups were indexed so it was easy to check every occurrence of a given code group. Each code group was also divisible by three, which made a good garble check. Now all that was left to do was to recover the meaning for the more than 33,000 code groups. That was my sole job during my tour in Washington, which lasted until May 1944. We were never supposed to produce finished intelligence; Hypo (Hawaii) and Cast had that responsibility. Accordingly,
I daily compiled a list of recoveries for transmission to those stations.
By the time the war started, we were reading most movement reports while other types of messages were in a lesser state of readability. It must be remembered that, before the war, we in GZ (the cryptanalysis section) were not working on current traffic. Our intercept material came by slow boat from Cavite, Guam, and Hawaii. By the time the additives were stripped away and the messages logged and printed, the material was at least two months old. Cast and Hypo were charged with reading current messages. Accordingly, any message within two months of Pearl Harbor would have still been in the pipeline. I never saw a movement report from the Combined Fleet which showed it leaving the Kuriles. This doesn’t mean one was not sent, just that I didn't see it. Of course, as soon as the war started we had more important things to look for.
Sometime after the Battle of Midway, a captured Japanese code book was delivered to GZ. My boss, Commander Redfield Mason, told Dorothy Edgers to use it to check through the traffic during the month before the war to see if there was anything we should have seen. She came to me with the message “Niitaka Yama Wo Nobore” (Climb Mount Niitaka!). After being convinced of its authenticity, we deciphered the heading and date—from Imperial Headquarters to the Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, sent on 28 or 29 November 1941. We decided that it was the “go” signal and reported this to Commander Mason who agreed. I often wondered what the field stations did when they intercepted the message. Probably nothing; there was no mention of Hawaii or any other place. Dorothy Edgers never found a movement report from Yamamoto reporting departure from the Kuriles. Again, that doesn’t mean that such a message wasn’t sent, it just means that we didn't have it. However, I believe that one was never sent.
Finally, it seems that everyone wants to make the commanders in Washington the scapegoats for the surprise at Pearl Harbor. Well, no one in Washington was the intelligence officer for the U.S. Fleet; Eddie Layton was. No one in Washington was Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet; that was Admiral Husband Kimmel’s job. They were unaware of the coming attack—but is that an excuse? The situation was tense and a Japanese attack was widely expected to come at any time. Admiral Kimmel and, his Army counterpart. Lieutenant General Walter Short should have been better prepared. □
“Submarine Maneuver Control”
(See W. P. Gruner and H. E. Payne, pp. 56-60,
July 1992 Proceedings)
N. Allen Cargill; Chief Engineer, Tech- nitrol, Inc.—The article's analysis offered some excellent possibilities for the future; however, there are many other factors to be considered in submarine maneuver control. One that was not mentioned is gyroscopic precession, which can constitute a large destabilizing force in a highspeed, single-screw propulsion maneuver. Depending on the direction of rotation of the screw, the resulting forces are not equal and opposite when executing a right or left rudder turn in a three-dimensional medium. Bernoulli’s theorem of fluid mechanics applies whether the medium is air or water; therefore, the described evasive maneuver at 24 knots with a 30° rudder angle is analogous to the aerobatic maneuver of deliberately inducing a snap roll, which then proceeds into a spin.
Eliminating the sail is not necessarily the solution. Adequate structural height to support the periscopes, radar masts, and antennas must still be provided. A properly designed sail not only provides this necessary structure, but also acts as a very effective dorsal fin contributing to stability in a hull design with a low metacentric center.
Independent control surfaces coupled with a single-man control station would be the ideal solution. When coupled with the subsystems discussed, such a station literally would allow a submarine to be “flown” through its maneuvers. The single-pilot approach would improve control and, since a smaller Navy is almost inevitable, reduce crew sizes. European designers are already incorporating unitized control in their smaller designs.
With the demise of the USS Seawolf (SSN-21) program and the uncertain future of the Centurion, it would be wise to consider a smaller, less-expensive attack submarine, designed to hit hard and fast and to escape counterattacks. □ “Let’s Avoid Another Stark”
(See D. G. Freeman, pp. 34-39, June 1992; R.
F. Woodford, B. R. Blakeley, pp. 14-16,
August 1992 Proceedings)
Commander Keith F. Amacker, U.S. Navy—Contrary to the designated and self-appointed spokesmen for the surface Navy, all is not well. The surface Navy does not know how to fight. If it ever faced a well-trained enemy equipped with modern weapons, it would suffer appalling casualties during the initial engagements. The incidents involving the USS Stark (FFG-31) and the USS Vincennes (CG-49) were not isolated flukes caused by bad luck, bad joss, “the fog of war,” or training problems limited to those ships. They were the products of a system that does not prepare its officers and men for combat and measures effectiveness in the terms of the “administrative warfare” mission area and successful completion of canned training exercises that bear little resemblance to real combat. Battle management has been turned over to senior enlisted technicians whose background and training is normally operations and maintenance. Few of our officers really know what they are doing in terms of managing combat systems in a threat environment. The pipeline training is inadequate to the point of being criminally negligent. For example, the tactical-action officer (TAO) module in department head school is nothing but a six-week memory data dump.
While the prospective executive offi- cer/prospective commanding officer (PXO/PCO) pipeline holds some few group-think scenarios that provide the wisdom of trial and experience, the opportunities do not exist to learn and train on combat systems under the experienced eyes of senior or mid-level officers. Combat-systems team training available to the ships is a little better because of the availability of combat-systems team trainers (CSTTs) such as the 20B4 and 20B5. Unfortunately, these resources are often underutilized and when hooked up do not receive the required level of command attention. Often key people—the ship’s TAOs and weapons-control officers, as well as the executive officer and captain—either are not involved or involved only to a limited degree.
Contrast this approach with the principal warfare officer (PWO) concept used by the Royal Navy, the Royal Australian Navy, and many NATO navies. Taught at the School of Maritime Operations at HMS Dryad, the PWO school is a 44- Week course designed to produce midgrade warfare specialists. It is divided into
The Stark incident was “the product of a system that does not prepare its officers and men for combat.”
three sections that teach basic technical details, provide hands-on experience with equipment at sea, and employ a rigorous regimen of operational team training. The PWO, roughly speaking, is the equivalent of a tactical-action officer, but he is not a department head by our definition. He is responsible to the captain for his area of warfare including training, operation, and employment of the weapon systems and sensors. However, the PWO is not directly responsible for equipment maintenance, that job belongs to the ship’s weapons-electrical officer.
The basic reason for the poor training and inadequate preparation of our officers stems from the skewed measurements the Navy uses to determine if a ship is a success. In the surface Navy, the hallmarks of excellence are: a large amount of paper pushed out of the ship’s office, timely compliance with administrative tasks from higher authorities, passing a mind-numbing array of inspections, and the punctuality in getting underway and steaming to where the ship is supposed to be. Since the Navy does not consider a ship’s total combat effectiveness as a measure of success, any effort to improve it will be put on hold at least “until the next inspection is over.”
Senior Chief Freeman put forth some wonderful ideas to improve our training pipeline. However, these proposals will do no good until we take a hard look at the way we do business and make some serious changes. We need to determine what it really takes to make an effective fighting ship and modify our many inspections to measure these factors. The gauge of effectiveness must be how an entire ship—not just a particular department—performs under simulated combat conditions against a capable threat. It must include battle management of the main-propulsion and auxiliary equipment that serve combat systems.
Detect-to-engage exercises against Lear jets, operational propulsion plant examinations, damage-control drills, and independent-steaming exercises in condition four are not the way to develop combat effectiveness. Simultaneous multiship, combat-systems team training using a modified 20B4 or 20B5 CSTTs will help in such an effort, but the bulk of the solution lies in teaching and training our officers how to fight and win.
Computer games, paper tactical situations, and regurgitating information on the threat are not preparations for combat. Our officers need schoolhouse time, spent in combat simulators that can reproduce various threat environments. Before, during, and after any simulator time, experienced combat officers need to teach and preach tactics. The other positions in weapons control and the combat-information center need to be manned by experienced petty officers who are performing their jobs in support of officer training. If it is a team trainer, then each man on the team must be properly prepared and qualified in his respective watch station. Before he becomes a member of a defense-condition combat-systems team, a watchstander must receive instruction on his equipment and its performance as it relates to countering and defeating the threat. “Sink or swim” has a place in a team-training environment but only in the context of testing a man’s ability to respond under pressure—not testing his knowledge of the variable-action buttons and fixed-action buttons on his console.
The most distressing side of this issue is that the Navy failed to learn the real lessons from the Stark and the Vincennes incidents in which our ineptitude cost the precious lives of our sailors and innocent civilians. During my PXO course, I attended the official Navy “lessons learned” presentation on the Stark called “Stark Reality!!” During the presentation, I learned the particular damage-control lessons—regarding sufficient numbers of oxygen-breathing apparatus (OBA) canisters, the lack of OBAs, and toxic fumes from burning plastic—gleaned from the superb damage-control effort by the men of the Stark. Completely missing, however, were lessons in “offensive damage control” or, as a Royal Australian Navy officer put it, “the best damage control is ordnance on target.”
The inability of the Stark's and the Vincennes’s combat systems teams to evaluate a threat or a perceived threat correctly and make timely, thoughtful, and correct responses is a clear indication of a grave problem that the Navy seems unwilling to recognize. What will it take for the Navy to understand that it does no good to test and evaluate rigorously the ability of a ship to drive to a battle only for it to become a target once it gets there? □
“How About an Aegis Tour?”
(See E. B. Hontz, p. 54, July 1992 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Todd W. Leavitt, U.S. Navy— Captain Hontz hits a vital point right on the mark. His proposal to create an antiair-warfare (AAW) officer billet on an Aegis ship differs little, if at all, from what many Aegis ships have been trying to do for a number of years. As a former combat-information-center officer on an Aegis cruiser, I can recall numerous times when the need for cross-decking from the carrier-air-wing staff and airborne-early-warning, fighter, and even attack squadrons was deemed a necessity. Face-to-face exposure and the explanation of air-wing tactics, the intricacies of flight operations, and air crew procedures and peculiarities were considered essential to execute properly the responsibility of directing force antiair-warfare with which an Aegis ship is often tasked. Unfortunately, this highly beneficial process was often only a temporary response to a continuing demand.
Besides the elimination of the need to cross-deck, the creation of this billet would greatly enhance force antiair-warfare commander (FAAWC) performance. When tasked with a warfare responsibility, an Aegis ship (or any AAW ship for that matter) is not blessed with the manpower, flexibility, or experience that comes with an afloat staff, but nonetheless is expected to perform the same functions as those units with a staff. This often requires stretching the limits of a ship’s wardroom and chiefs’ mess. Port- and-starboard watches, combined with the rigors of a daily ship routine, do not allow the time that should be devoted to the planning, coordination, and evaluation of the antiair-warfare mission. The addition of one aviator would not solve this problem, but it would surely help improve the proficiency of the ship, allowing for a better use of time and energy.
Furthermore, in the AAW arena, where decisions must normally be made more expeditiously than in other warfare areas, an experienced aviator would be an excellent addition to the team. The presence of an aviator who has been a “low, slow flier,” or who knows what it’s like to return to the carrier with communications down or identification-friend-or-foe inoperable can only better the FAAWC decision-making process. The aviator may not be expert in employing the Standard missile or executing surface-warfare tactics, but his knowledge can help smooth out any interoperability glitches between surface and air assets within a battle group.
As a surface-warfare officer, I see only
limited disadvantages to this proposal. I would not advocate the sacrifice of a surface-warfare-officer’s billet to make room for an aviator—but if that were necessary, the benefits would outweigh the drawbacks. It would also be unfortunate if the aviation community viewed this disassociated billet as a waste of time. As the Navy shrinks, it makes sense to use all possible resources to improve our ability to operate in any environment. As Captain Hontz noted, the time has come to make some bold changes. Let’s start with this one. □
“The Navy Should Take Back the Arizona Memorial”
(See R. L. Herschkowitz, p. 79, December 1991; J. S. Harmon, pp. 24-26, February 1992;
W. C. Jefferies, p. 22, June 1992 Proceedings)
Edwin C. Bearss, Chief Historian, National Park Service—The charges that the National Park Service runs the USS Arizona Memorial in “a cheap and tawdry way” and that the interpretive film and orientation talks at the Memorial show a pro-Japanese bias are inaccurate, unfounded, and unfair.
The Arizona Memorial attracts large numbers of visitors; therefore, the Visitors Center is often crowded and lines for the boat to the Memorial itself are often long. For budgetary reasons, the NPS has not been able to provide all the improvements to visitor facilities that we would like; however, we do not wish to restrict visitation for those who have come far to see the Memorial.
It is on the interpretive programs—particularly the film—at the Memorial that critics have centered their attentions. The film was made by the U.S. Navy and has been used since the NPS began operating the Memorial in 1980. It has been shown to 14 million visitors, but because of its age and the need for improvements both in content and technical quality, a new film is being made.
To ensure the new film is as accurate—and fitting—as possible, professional historians and interpretive specialists—including the Chief of Naval History—reviewed the script, and distinguished Pearl Harbor survivors and representatives of national veterans organizations have looked at it as well. The latter group includes; Joseph Glaubitz, National President of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association; John Finn, the last living man awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on 7 December 1941; and Captain Joseph Taussig, Jr., another Pearl Harbor survivor who is now the assistant deputy undersecretary of the Navy. Captain Donald Ross, who was also awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor that day, examined the script before his recent death.
The preparation of the film is but one example of how the NPS has sought to take account of veterans’ concerns and treat them with respect. The care that we take in monitoring the introductory talks that precede the film is another. In fact, several Pearl Harbor survivors are among those who give the talks.
A third example of our efforts is the program of events we organized to honor the heroes of Pearl Harbor on the 50th anniversary of the Japanese attack. It is singularly unfortunate, then, that readers of Proceedings have seen only criticism of the Park Service and no reporting of the NPS-run commemoration during 4-7 December 1991. The distinguished survivors named above were invited to Hawaii by the NPS and took part in the events and special efforts were taken to extend a special welcome to all survivors and relatives.
1 am aware of these facts because, as the Chief Historian of the National Park Service, I was—with the full support of my superiors—on hand for the events. Additionally, as an enlisted Marine combat veteran of the Pacific theater in World War II, I took particular care to listen to my comrades-in-arms who took part in the commemorative ceremonies. I can assure all who were not there that all the events were dignified and solemn.
Critical comments themselves do not bother me, but it does trouble me when extreme and ill-informed accounts cause pain and concern of the part of veterans, their relatives, and other citizens. For all those who have continuing doubts, I invite you to visit the Memorial and inspect the National Park Service’s management of it first-hand. If you cannot do this, please accept my assurances that the National Park Service sees the USS Arizona Memorial as an eternal tribute to those who gave their lives on 7 December 1941—many of whom are entombed in the Arizona—and that we strive to the utmost of our ability to administer the Memorial accordingly, just as we do at the 14 national cemeteries—including Gettysburg—that are in the National Park System.
I regret that any veteran—or any visitor—to the Arizona Memorial comes away with a negative view. But beyond my personal assurances, I cannot give any solace to those who find only fault. I can only hope that, when expressing concerns and assigning criticism and blame, that they will also begin to give credit where credit is due. □